Saturday, January 17, 2015

A positive moment for tourism

Practicing English in Hanoi. A least I'm useful for something!
Last night I went walking in Hanoi, Vietnam and met these two college girls who wanted to practice their English with me. They practice all the time at home but have never had the courage to ever ask anyone in person, but said they asked me because I seemed friendly. They told me they learn English by watching Ellen and MasterChef and could even name all the characters of Friends. They love Taylor Swift and are sad Miley Cyrus has been acting so crazy. They took out their Learn English lessons and had me read to them, then read to me and asked me to correct their pronunciation.

This was just what the doctor ordered for me, since this trip had made me question if my presence is really good for the societies that I'm seeing. The affect of tourism sometimes worries me, but right now I feel like I made a small contribution and got to experience the best part of travel: personal interactions that make the world a smaller more interconnected place. And PS, I already got an email from one of the girls so hopefully I can be her English-speaking pen pal.

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